Aeron Headrest Comparison – Engineered Now versus Atlas

Aeron Headrest Comparison – Engineered Now versus Atlas


Here’s a short evaluation with some photos to illustrate the difference between the two popular brands of headrests. They are the Atlas and the Engineered Now.
We also added a short review of the new Ergonomic Aeron Headrest H3 (OEM), which many users were excited and has been asking. We do ship most of our accessories globally for FREE.

This review should provide more insight to buyers to understand some of the critical differences and know what to look out for.

There are two versions of the Engineered Now headrests, the HR03 and HR04. The HR03 is recommended for people below 180cm and the HR04 cushion is 20% bigger and taller.

The following comparison is for the graphite version of the Remastered Aeron Chair. Note that this is slightly different from the Classic Aeron version which was discontinued for several years.


Classic and remastered difference


Difference between Remastered and Classic Aerons

 Who are they?

Engineered Now had been around for almost a decade and was the first to release a fully adjustable mesh headrest for the Classic Aeron chairs. You can tell that the inventor is very concerned about the headrest’s durability, function and adjustability aspect. This matches the direction of how Aerons were designed, adaptable to fit most people.

Atlas was released later by a couple of years, but one of its founders was known to work for Herman Miller’s design. Recently, they released a version with “suspension mesh” which now makes them a worthy competitor for Engineered Now. The mesh used on their headrest is from the same supplier that supplies for the production of Aeron Chairs. Aesthetically, they should match very well since the material is the same.


Size difference

Engineered Now has two sizes. The HR03 and HR04, which is taller and bigger by about 20%. Again, though we are using the remastered Aerons for comparison in this review. The dimension and features are the same for the variation for the Herman Miller Classic Aerons.

Atlas only has one size. The headrest is huge, even larger than the HR04.


Here are some comparison photos

Atlas compare HR03

Left Atlas, Right Engineered Now HR03. Frontal photo


Left Atlas, Right Engineered Now HR03. Size comparison


Atlas compare HR04

Left Atlas, Right Engineered Now HR04. Size comparison


HR04 compare HR03

Left Engineered Now HR04. Right HR03

Some users have pointed out that the rear of the Atlas headrest is likely to protrude out. This protrusion can be a concern for tight spaces as it increases the size of the chair.

Left Atlas, right HR03

Left Atlas, right HR03, protruding bars at the back of Atlas


Ergonomic Head Support

The neck carries the head, and the muscles that support your head are from the neck and shoulders. Although it’s known as a headrest, the fundamental support should be on your neck. So your neck and shoulder muscles can be appropriately relaxed while your head gets supported.

Some users position their headrest support on the back of their heads, which may cause a strain on the neck.

The material must be fully breathable and not too stiff to eliminate the chance of trapped heat or pressure points which can cause discomfort. As such, using mesh is the most appropriate material.


Forward head syndrome

If the head is pushed too forward, it can have a negative effect, causing forward head syndrome.


Support difference

There’s something unique here with Engineered Now’s design. It is fully adjustable, so you can find a spot that supports your head well.

The mesh can be slightly loose, but this is probably intentional to allow the mesh to wrap around your neck instead of being too firm and creating pressure points causing discomfort. This curve-in design locks your neck in position and reduces the chance of your head slipping off while taking a nap. The mesh is a little springy similar to the Atlas’s suspension mesh.

Some headphones users remark that the curve design may hinder them from wearing the earpiece. If you use In-Ear Monitors(IEM) or smaller headphones, there shouldn’t be any problem.

HR03 curve surface


For the HR04, the curve is more subtle.

HR04 surface


The cushion is huge and very wide for Atlas, but the surface is a little flatter. They call it the suspension mesh, and it is a little springy, which is quite similar to the HR03/HR04.

At first look, there was some concern that the cushion on the Atlas is too large and may not fit well with people having a more petite frame, as you must remember that the curve should fit behind the neck, not head. In this aspect, the Engineered Now HR03 design seems better as the smaller cushion design will likely fit and provide better cranium support.

However, we haven’t heard much of such complaints, probably because the suspension mesh from Atlas conforms to the head’s shape and sinks well into the correct depth, resting like a firm pillow.


The HR04’s size is somewhere between Atlas and HR03. It is highly adjustable, but it rests at a taller height. We recommend the HR04 option be considered only for people with 180cm / 5 feet 11 and above.

Overall, both the Engineered Now and Atlas headrests are both excellent products. Still, given that the Engineered Now headrest has better adjustability and fits better behind the neck, they score slightly better on ergonomics.

Atlas surface


Adjustments Explained


Engineered Now Headrest Adjustment Explained

Engineered Now Headrest Adjustment Explained

The Engineered Now headrest adjusts its depth by rotating and swinging the headrest forward or backward and locked into position with a lever.
The height is adjusted by sliding the headrest along the bar, and the cushion’s angle can be adjusted. You can adjust the tension by tightening the screws inside the cap.



Atlas Headrest Adjustment Explained

Atlas Headrest Adjustment Explained


As for the Atlas headrest, depth can be adjusted by simply pushing or pulling the headrest’s position. There’s a locking knob to tighten the position. Since the Atlas is already much bigger and protrudes a lot, most people prefer the headrest all the way to the back. So in a way, there’s less flexibility in the depth.

Height can be adjusted by sliding along the bar and using the locking knob to tighten into position.

The angle of the cushion can be rotated and adjusted.



Which has better adjustability?

Both can adjust the depth, height and angle. We will say that the Engineered Now headrest should be more adjustable as it has more room to adjust for depth. The Engineered Now headrest also has an active free-flowing design that adjusts while the user tilts the chair.

Another big advantage of the Engineered Now headrest is it can be easier adjusted while the user remains seated. For the Atlas headrest, some adjustments may require the user to stand up and adjust first before sitting or get someone to help to adjust.

Also, note that the Atlas’s depth comes out a little more, so some users were concerned that it might push the head too forward. It should not be a big issue as the Atlas mesh is springy and does sink its depth a little when you put your head on it.

Atlas cushion depth

Engineered Now HR03 cushion depth

Engineered Now HR04 cushion depth

Will the headrest blend well with my chair?

The Engineered Now headrest may not be using the same fabric used in the original Aeron chairs. Despite that, it’s hard to visually tell or feel a difference when installed on the chair.

As for the Atlas, the mesh is the same material used on the original Aeron Chairs, so it should provide a perfect match. It has a sleeker and simpler-looking design, which makes it aesthetically more pleasing. In this aspect, the Atlas headrest should be the clear winner.

Both types of mesh used are durable and can dissipate heat well. It is unlikely that the user will create a tear by placing their head on the mesh.


Here are some illustration photos:

Both may look like it’s in different colours, but that’s mainly due to lighting or editing discrepancies. You can see that they look almost the same in our earlier photos comparing them.

Engineered Now

Atlas Headrest Remastered Aeron Carbon




Which is more durable?

From statistics, Engineered Now headrest seems to have fewer technical complains. That’s after almost a decade of selling. Reports of them failing is rare or never heard of, so we think they are hard to beat. Some complain that the tension might slip, but that can be easily tightened back using simple tools. Overall, they feel slightly more solid in the gears and the pivoting points. The issue of the tension slipping may also happen on the Atlas, it’s hard to tell which will be worse, but we believe the Engineered One should fare a little better in overall durability.

As for workmanship, the Atlas fares better on the finishing. Atlas’s new mesh headrest hasn’t been around for long, but we believe they are also well made.

Both use Nylon frames. Nylon is a very hard material that doesn’t easily corrode and has some form of self-lubricating properties. The chassis of your Aeron chair is mainly made of Nylon.

Which is easier to install?

Both are relatively easy to install.

Installation for the Engineered Now is easier because there is only one screw to tighten.
For the Atlas, there are a total of 4 screws to be installed. We don’t think it’s a big matter since it should not take you an extra 5 minutes to do that.


What is the OEM Ergonomic Headrest?

It appears to be from the OEM of the Engineered Now Headrest, whose patent has probably expired.

Can’t tell the quality difference between the OEM and the original Engineered One Headrest. You can see for yourself below.

They have a few adjustments and tweaks, which some deem critical or address some of the previously known concerns.

Some tweaks include added cushion pads to reduce the chance of scratching and an adjustment rod design that allows better locking in position.


Below are the main differences based on the latest design. As the OEM are the direct production line, they may react swiftly and make amendments for various reasons. We can’t guarantee that the designs will always be the same. Any changes are supposed to be improvements or necessary.

Aeron headrest mesh comparison

Herman Miller Aeron Engineered Now headrest mesh comparison


Herman Miller Aeron Headrest comparison

The original adjustment rod on the left has a smooth surface. Some users complain that the positioning slips too easily. The adjustment rod on the Taiwan OEM allows stepped adjustments to hold positions better.


Herman Miller Aeron Taiwan headrest

Cushioning material to reduce the risk of scratches.


We notice a better finish on the frame—a closer match to the original chair. The mesh is almost identical and matches the Aeron chair perfectly.









We will grade them with the following comparing just the Engineered Now and Atlas Headrest.


Engineered Now

Comfort: ★★★★★

Adjustability: ★★★★★

Ergonomics : ★★★★★

Design: ★★★★

Material: ★★★★


The same score is given to the Ergonomic Aeron Headrest H3 (OEM).



Comfort: ★★★★★

Adjustability: ★★★★

Ergonomics : ★★★★

Design: ★★★★★

Material: ★★★★★


Overall, these are the best headrests available for the Aeron chair. Each with their own strength and weaknesses and which is better really depends on what you deem as more important. The Engineered Now headrest fare slightly better in adjustability and ergonomics. While the Atlas fare slightly better in design and material.


You can find more information on the product’s page:

Engineered Now HR03 Headrest

Engineered Now HR04 Headrest

Ergonomic Aeron Headrest H3 (OEM)

Atlas Headrest


Looking to improve your Herman Miller Chair?

Then you probably want to check out the wheels also known as casters.

They are the easiest part to fail in the chair and we have found the BEST replacements.


Look at these photo of the wheels shedding.

Herman miller casters shedding Herman miller casters breaking apart


Check out what’s the best you can get to replace here:
Made in Germany Premium Hard Casters